Wednesday, June 30, 2010

and that's a wrap on June...

i didn't finish the belt yet, and i didn't do the flower pin for the dress either.  i will.  and i have the best excuse ever!  i was going to do that all today, but instead i got to be at my dear friend Kate's birth!  what a blessing.  i love being a doula, especially for a family so close to my heart.  and Kate was amazing, but hey she should start her own blog if she wants everyone to know about her amazing birth, right? :)
So, anyway....what a beautiful day.  i think the sun even came out here in Seattle.  Been a cold, chilly June so far.  Speaking of June, that is the sweet new baby's name.  and she just made it, last day of June.

the plan finish the belt and flower before I leave for vacation on July 14th.  so, like i said...sewing is not my thing.  i mean, really, i it took me a month to sew one thing, how long would it take to sew my clothes when i needed something, and not to mention my kid's clothes.  and Jamie's.  oh, and yea, at $100 a pop per outfit, i am not saving much.  i guess unless i found much much cheaper fabric and made everything from the same pattern.  and was a better measurer, since i did it just like it said, and it doesn't fit right.  oh, and I'll post pictures of details.  I promise.

Tomorrow starts writing month.  i once started a group that was doing the Artist's Way, a book to help unlock creative potential.  it was a fun group....but honestly, we mostly got together, drank wine and sat in the hot tub and talked about stories from our past that came up from reading the book.  i loved it.  i think we made it to the third chapter.  but what i did get from it was the "morning pages."  you write three pages every morning....of whatever comes up.  not taking your pen from the paper, just stream of consciousness stuff.  it is supposed to help clear the mind of all the junk/garbage that we hold up there.  at this point in my life, I don't believe we can ever get "rid" of that crap...but we can observe it, watch it roll on by.  so all of that is to say, i intend to do the morning pages this month.  i also intend to write something.  maybe an article kind of thing on the menstrual cycle...maybe written for young girls.  or maybe written for mother's of young girls.  and then it may tie into teaching a class in the fall.  we'll see on that.  we'll see on the morning pages.

have a great last night of June....i know i am.  Sitting back, bloggin, enjoying a salty dog.  and embarrassingly watching "mall cop" with my kids.  hey, it was rated PG, so we tried it.  maybe not the best choice.

loving life....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

F I N I S H E D !

i made the dress!!!!!!!!
(i still have to make the belt and flower...but come on, the dress is made)

i actually ended up getting up early and making it in the morning before making all the food for Tallulah's party.  i must have read that last step i was stuck on twenty times.  i just could not understand what to so.  and there all all these terms for every piece....left front yoke, right back yoke, left back yoke lining, etc.  and to make matters worse, at this point the dress was partially you have to be very careful about how you're placing everything and where you are sewing, because you don't want to twist the dress and have to do it again.  so, after much reading and walking away and coming back and reading again...something clicked and it made sense.  once i finished that step, the rest came into place easily, i could visually see how it all went together, without having to just blindly trust that i was comprehending the pattern.  i did have to use the seam ripper and take that seam apart the first time because i  left too big of a space at the buttons.  i loathe seam ripping and doing something over when sewing, usually.  but that time wasn't so bad.  i think i was just so happy that i figured it out.

in the end, it is too big.  which i have to say is a bit disappointing since i measured everything and cut the pattern pieces accordingly, even adjusting to different measurements making different sizes on the same pattern piece.  and now, i lay in bed at night and try to think about taking it in, and i get overwhelmed.  since it is lined, and if i want it to still look all finished inside, i can't just fold it, pin it and sew a new seam.  that would look messy.  but i also would love for it to fit better.  well, regardless of fit, i did wear it to Tallulah's party!  i used a ribbon as a belt, and it was ok.  it was pretty chilly that night at the park, so i mostly had a jacket on over top of the dress.  but it felt good to wear something i made, i was so proud of it.

here is a picture of the dress, and I'll get some better ones too.  and one of me wearing it at the party.  i am standing with my friend, janeen.  ok, so i didn't get the pictures of just the dress downloaded, my computer has been too slow.  grrr.  so...maybe tomorrow.  and maybe some good shots of the details.
bye bye for now...

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm on my way...

holy shit.  i am totally making a dress!  i am on Step 6G!!!  I have sewn the yoke, added on the button loops, gathered the front of the yoke and attached the front of the yoke to the body of the dress.  i am actually at a point where i don't know if i am attaching everything right, but i am reading the directions thoroughly and expecting it to all come out in the end.  so far so good.  i thought i lost a piece of the pattern at one point this morning, and that was a little upsetting.  i just don't know enough about sewing to guess what the "right yoke template" might have looked like.  but there it was in between the radiator parts in my dining room...i am lucky that little flimsy piece of paper didn't ignite over there...those radiators get so flipping hot.  and yes, as of the past couple days...the heat has been ON here in Seattle.  it has been ridiculous.  On Sunday, maybe i mentioned....but seriously, i put on a brunch for a handful of families at a beach and it was freezing cold!  and raining!!!  WTF, the day before summer solstice....and a bloody mary brunch on the beach was like 50 degrees!  anyway...the last couple days have been gorgeous.  this afternoon we were at the park while levi was at baseball practice and it was skies with beautiful clouds, a light breeze and SUN.
i told the kids it was my secret mission to finish my dress by tomorrow evening and wear it to Tallulah's birthday party.  and as close as i am, i mean...Step 8 is hemming the dress (and remember, I am on step 6!), i just don't know if i will be able to do it.  i just got back from the grocery store and did a little tiny bit of prep work for tomorrow's food and it is after midnight.  oh, and by the way...when i was procrastinating today about sewing, guess what i was doing? looking up recipes, of course.  my mom says she thinks cooking is one of my passions.  it is.  i love it.  but i think there is more.  now i have yoga too.  and speaking of food...we are going to have tempeh, tahini, curry, mango and cilantro sandwiches; salami sandwiches with green olive tapenade and red peppers; smoked salmon sandwiches with cucumber and creme fraiche; roasted cauliflower; baked macaroni and cheese bites; roasted garbanzo beans; chocolate covered grapes; brownies; and a veggie and dip platter; oh, and salty dogs to drink.  i think that's everything.  so, yea.  not sure i'll have time to also finish my dress.  and get a haircut tomorrow too.  and watch at least one other kid!  i guess we're busy :)  that's life...sometimes you're so busy, in a good way.  and other times you get to kick back and read a book or look at the beautiful clouds.  you know, i think i am getting better at using those often but brief interludes throughout the day....just zoning out when i have 20 free seconds, or really letting go of everything to relax with a cooking magazine while the kids are playing at the park.  those little bits of time can really fill you up., i am going to bed now.  not gonna sew.  not gonna cook more tonight.  refresh and be ready for the morning!  and just maybe finish that dress.  i really, really want to.
i can't wait to little baby is 5!
xoxo melissa

PS....i forgot to tell you.  the other day after i was sewing in the morning...I went out and picked some lettuce and kale and chard and had myself a nice salad for lunch.  then i went to yoga later that day.  so in the 5 months so far, that day i was fully using 3 of the "passions."  pretty cool.  i am so thankful that this came into my life, it has been so rewarding.  and the personal growth has been more than i have ever thought possible.  the other cool thing is that other people have been emailing me about how inspired they have been....starting their own gardens, or joining a health club.  so amazing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Starting Over

I feel like it has been forever that I have even checked in here!  I have decided that I am not going to sew this month as things are just to crazy, I feel overwhelmed, the kids are needy, my dog is very needy, and I just can not do anything more than I am doing.  I think I will start again next month with writing as that seems more reachable and maybe helpful for me right now.  We are out of our house and living in a temp apartment in Bellevue.  I really can not complain as it is very nice but I want my visa so I can GOOOOOO.  If you know anyone in the Swiss consulate please give them a call and tell them to hurry hurry hurry.  This waiting is killing me...

Till July!


Monday, June 21, 2010

10 more days

yes, 10 days left to sew my dress.  lily alerted me this morning..."mama!  June is almost over and you have to still sew your dress!"  so, i counted up the days and i think i can do it.  since we last met, i sewed the outer fabric to the lining at the arm holes.  i was nervous about that cause they are not just the straight lines i had sewn for the sides.  but it went well.  and now i will be moving on.
i am feeling a lot better....and going to yoga today!  finally.  it has been 4 days, that is the longest i have gone since starting in April.  but with being sick and a busy weekend, that is what happened.  so, moving forward.  as always.  no need to dwell on the past, or feel bad about it.
i think i mentioned this before, but sewing is totally not my passion.  i may do it again here and there.  and i am glad i chose it, because i like the idea of knowing i can make my clothes if i wanted to.  ok, i know, a little preemptive there since i have not actually finished the dress.  it'll happen.  i can kinda be a last minute kind of gal.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

drinking "nasty tea"...

so, the other day i did get some actual sewing done.  the fronts and backs of both the exterior and lining are sewn together.  next is to start sewing those together at the sleeves.  i tried on what was sewn and it seems too big.  but i don't know how it will looked when it is finished, and then there is also the belt to help it look more fitting, i guess.  i measured everything and cut accordingly, so i am afraid to try and mess with it at this point.  but if i wait and try to adjust it later, it might be even more difficult.  and then again, if i change something to the body of the dress, what if it doesn't fit the yoke appropriately.  so, I will continue as planned.  with what i have already cut.  i want to work on it today, but i just don't feel that great.  sore throat (although a 3am gargle with warm salt water and turmeric powder really helped and it actually doesn't hurt that much anymore) and mostly a lot of sinus pressure and pain.  but i am drinking my "nasty tea" - a version of it anyway, as there are lots of nasty teas according to my kids :) root for my swollen glands, osha, usnea, and balsam root.  i am liking these herbs lately, so good timing for me to get a chance to really try them out. sew or not to sew?  i have til three to decide, and then it is off to work.
have a great thursday everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

fabric is cut!!!

sweet jesus.  i did it.  i started yesterday when i had some quiet time at home alone and i did the lining.  then this morning....i cut my peacock fabric.  it really wasn't so bad.  i did have to re-pin the patterns a couple times for various reasons, like placing then upside down.  that was a little frustrating.
speaking of frustrating...i find crafting of pretty much all sorts (sewing, hand stitching, knitting, embroidery, etc....) frustrating and tension building.  i could never understand how people find these things relaxing.  and yet, i know they do...i just don't get it.  my back and neck hurt this morning, simply from pinning and cutting fabric.  i get all tense, all through my upper body and jaw.  and just as i was thinking this, my neighbor stopped by yesterday while I was cutting.  she said she had been sewing that morning and found it to be very stressful and tense.  so, we had some fun describing and laughing about the "bitchy" seamstresses that we are.  we laughed about how we could never say a lot of love went into making our clothes.  is it the virgo, perfectionistic tendencies?  is it something to let go of? of course.  always a learning of deeper substance in my world.  but is it something i will transform into being my passion?  i doubt it.  regardless, tense or not, i will finish the dress.

i really hope it fits me.

off to start the machine up and get to sewing~  i am on step 3 of the pattern!  3rd step out of 9.
reminding myself to:
enjoy each step of the journey.  it's not all about the finished project.
stay present.  slow down.  this is not a race to the finish line.
and to breathe.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Maybe...Maybe Not

I have all the materials but have yet to begin my sewing project.  I had actually planned to sew tonight but I really need to finish report cards so that ends my sewing plans.  I don't know...maybe I need to bow out gracefully this month and learn when to say when.  I really want to finish but it is feeling more like a chore then a passion and this is not what I wanted this to be about.  A few weeks left in June so...maybe I will finish or maybe not.


Friday, June 11, 2010

i should've used turtle fabric

cause i am moving so slow.  it's ok.  i think i am afraid to cut the fabric.  so, i keep putting it off.  so, today is day three of being supposed to cut the fabric.  and i have school stuff with the kids all day and i work at night.  maybe tomorrow.  i did iron the fabric last night.  it was really nice to do.  i like ironing, and i hardly ever do it.  the house was clean and quiet....the girls had stayed up late cleaning their room.  which is awesome!  and i let them sit on the couch for a show with me while i ironed.  we watched "Battle on the Block", an HGTV home design do it yourself kind of show.  Lily and i love that stuff.  Tallulah fell asleep immediately (yeah!) and it was just so meditative and sweet, yes, even with the tv on.  candles were lit and i have a new houseplant on the window sill...oh, which i bought when i was finally getting the things for my garden to grow up upon...instead of over the raised bed walls and onto the grass.  i got these cool twirly bamboo sticks for the peas...i hope it works. was very cozy in here last night and i am still kinda feeling the buzz from that.  here's my work in progess...
see, remember just the other day i was sitting in the apartment....thinking i should clean it cause if was so messy, but i took silent time to just be.  and now here i am, and the apartment did get clean.  everything moves, nothing stays the same.  so...lesson for me, don't get all down when things don't look or feel the way i want them to.  sit with myself.  and know that nothing is forever.  be flexible, vulnerable, and open.  receptive.  i may have an idea of what i want, but if i am open and receptive...the possibilities are infinite, and my idea of what i want could stifle that flow.  oh, i am rambling.  gotta get the kids ready for their last day at Bright Water School.
here's to cutting the fabric!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

slow start....

it's the 9th!  and i only have my supplies and my pattern cut out.  tonight i iron my pre-washed fabric and maybe, just maybe I will cut it.  the pattern cutting went ok.  i was three different sizes....bust, waist and hips all fell into a different size according to the pattern.  so, I had to draw lines from one size to another and hope it works out.  please let it fit!  wouldn't that be a bummer?  to make a great dress that didn't fit!  ok, i am so not going to go there.  it will fit.  it will fit.  oh, and my mom hasn't taken her sewing machine yet.  so, I will have to be a good daughter and really get to fixing those clothes of hers as soon as i am finished with my dress. i know, i am so selfish.
this is the kids last week of school.  only two more days.  and last week of school at this particular school.  it's onto public education after the summer.  i think it will be just fine.  it is a little strange to not be signing up for class parent jobs for next year, and looking around and, this isn't "our" school anymore.  but that's part of the process.  grieving a loss in a way.  not like with tears and a burial or our school directory or something.  but it is a loss none the less, and i hope my kids greet whatever feelings they have about it as they come up.
so...i guess off to sewing.  i could clean up my house.  i could dust.  i could do anything!  i just finished bikram and after walking home...the apartment is empty!  wow.  i may just have a moment of silence....savasana.  lots of self discovery lately, and i think some quiet to let it sink in is the perfect thing.  then sewing....and maybe a lil cleanin too.
with gratitude....for all that is,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

peacock fabric

as i write this post, my new dress fabric is washing in the washing machine.  i went to Stitches on Pike St. just west of Broadway in Capitol Hill.  it is a cute little shop and the salespeople were great...not right on top of me when i walked in, but very helpful when i asked for help.  and best of all, since i have been short on time this week, i got the pattern, picked out the fabric and everything in half an hour!  and that was all i had before i had to pick up the kids at school on Friday.  i guess if there was a down side, it was that i did not look at any prices...just picked out what looked good.  i blindly assumed, i guess since i have not sewn anything in so long, that making your own dress would be cheaper than buying one.  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  i probably picked out the most expensive fabric i could make a cotton dress out of!  $17/yd!!!  but hey, it is really nice and it will truly inspire me to do my very best.  i don't want to ruin it after spending that much!   so, here is the fabric.  Can you tell there are peacocks on it?  funny, there has been a peacock theme, starting with a card Jamie gave me when this all began.  i think i wrote about that.  and my painting.  and then i didn't even put that together until i got home with this fabric.

the pattern I picked is by Amy Butler, the anna tunic.  i am making the mini dress.  here is a photo of the pattern has the tunic on it, and the mini dress is similar, but without the sash/tie thingy.  and maybe more fitted.  we'll see!

So, the fabric is washing and i need to hunt down a tape measure.  it's just the kind of thing that the kids love to play with and then i can never locate it again.  so, find the tape measure first....then get measurements.  then cut the pattern, which is really scary for me.  once it's cut, it's cut.  you know?  i know, obviously.  but then i have a hard time making the first cut.  but generally, once i get started i loosen up a bit.  so, that's the plan for tonight.  then tomorrow....start cutting the fabric.  

besides the sewing project beginning, life has been offering many lessons for growth, as per usual.  i do seem to be gaining more and more confidence.  but then i have also been having my usual baby cravings too, which i thought i was totally over.  i think it is a distraction technique that my ego uses to keep me exhausted and not on my true path.  i mean, there is nothing wrong with babies....god, i love them.  holding my friends baby on my hip this weekend while i was cooking felt so natural.  i miss that.  and yet, not having a little, little one....maybe that has made it easier for me to do things like this monthly journey....and learning more about myself, and taking better care of myself.   and maybe even getting closer to truly deciding what i want to be when i grow up! :)  which may just involve babies, just not my own!

Oh, and real is one thing i found about peacock symbolism:
"The Peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too. If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagine the glorious, techno-color display the Peacock provides. This puts us in a proper mood to embrace your own nobility. In no time, you’ll be walking tall and proud as a Peacock too!"


I Think I Can...

Sewing Day 1 for me...Thank God for my neighbor and friend Michelle...she is going to save me this month.  Michelle and I took the girls today for a visit to the fabric store to decide what to make.  I decided on a dress in a floral fabric.  The fabric felt fun to me and not something that I would normally pick.  I will be honest this whole thing seems overwhelming right now but I will take it slow and hope to come out with something really great in the end.  Here are two pics of our trip and what we got.  I hope to read over the pattern directions tonight!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Finally a Post!

Good Morning from Geneva,

Ian and I have been here a week and are ready to fly back to Seattle today.  I am ready to come home and see the girls but not sure if I am ready for what is ahead over the next few weeks.  We leave again on Thursday for a wedding in DC and then we move out of our house and most likely into temp housing the week of the 21st.  It all seems so soon and part of me would like to push it back a few weeks but really I say lets just do it.  The anticipation of it feels harder than the actual move part.  I will fill you in on some Geneva news and then we can talk about sewing or lack of it.  We have had a very successful week!  We confirmed that Madeline will attend Ecole (school) Mosaic.  This is a wonderful small bilingual private primary school.  There are only 100ish kids in the entire school so that is about 1 class per grade.  We got lucky and the school is growing so they are opening a new 1st grade class for next she is in.  We liked it so much that we actually applied for Hazel but she will need to go on the waitlist and we will see.  The way the school works in that she will have two different English..and one French.  The languages will alternate by days so English one day and French the next.  She will learn quickly in such a nice environment.The school is 40% Swiss and 60% international so there are many kids who do not know French or English so Madeline will be ahead of the game in some areas.  The best news about this school is that I fell in love with the area that it is in.  Champel is a part of the city with a very neighborhood feel.  It has a grocery, butcher, many bakeries, tailor etc all within walking distance and you can even walk to Ian's office in Eaux Vive or take a super fast bus ride.  It also has a fabulous park across for the school that has a playground, wading pool, and off leash park for Walter.  I really wanted to live in the city..figure try something new while I have the chance.  So we have the school and neighborhood so we needed an apartment.  After looking at about 10 rentals we found one that both Ian and I could agree on.  We just got positive confirmation yesterday that our initial application has been approved and being sent to final approval.  The flat is a duplex on the 9th and 10th floor of a well not so beautiful building :(.  We looked at some wonderful older European building but none seemed to have the space we need but oh well.  It has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  The living space is full of huge windows, fire place, nice floors etc.  Downstairs are all the bedrooms and they are all good size with lots of closets.  The best part is the two level terrace with amazing views of the Jet and the city.  It is huge and will be a great place for Walter and the girls to hang.  I loved that there was an outdoor kitchen up there with a sink, grill etc.  So great.  So there we go...we did it a school, flat, and neighborhood that we love..not just to get there :)

Back to the obviously I have not been able to give this my all but I have to let it go a bit..if I worry about this two I may push myself over the edge.  I actually have been following along just not having the time to blog about it.  My tomatoes and herbs are continuing to grow and it makes me sad we will have to leave them for the renters but they will have a yummy sauce.  I decided to redo gardening month a bit more with flowers etc when we move as we have a huge terrace to fill.  I guess it is time to sew....I have to say the thought of starting a new project right now really stresses me out but I am going to try.  I may have some redo months at the end so that I really can participate the way that I want.  I will borrow my neighbors machine tomorrow and maybe visit a fabric store but I guess no promises on completion.

I figure the truth is that even people who already know there passion get interrupted by huge life changes so for now I will need to be one of those people.

Oh and here is a view from the Terrace of our new flat!

Off for a journey to Seattle!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

moving along...

greetings to June!  and the sun came out yesterday afternoon!!!  after a couple weeks of rain and gray, i seriously welled up and almost cried, i was so happy.

sooooo, it is sewing month.  making a dress.  i have my mom's sewing machine here, been here for months, and i guess i just assumed i would use it.  she texted me today that she was coming over to get her sewing machine!  so, maybe i can rent one.  after all, it is hers. :)  and she is taking it to take in some clothes of hers that i had said i would help with, but never did.  sorry, mom!  in my ideal life, i have days that i can spend sewing and helping my mom fix up her wardrobe.

so, gardening month is over.  i finished the book i was reading last night.  and as you know, i loved it.  he puts together some simple "rules" for eating at the end of the book, and they are well thought out and simple.  he actually has a new book out that pretty much covers those rules, you know, for the americans that don't have time to sit down and read a 200 page book.  it's like the cliff notes of In the Defense of Food.  it's called Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  i still have my food out there growing, and i still need to get the things so my food can grow up instead of all over each other.  maybe today!  since i am home with a sick little girl and not at work.

so, I am busily checking out sewing books on amazon.  I have heard SewU books from Built by Wendy are good.  and i saw some others, but then i read the reviews.  i guess some people are just going to hate things.  no matter how much other people like them.  i seem to have this love hate thing with reviews, i want them to be helpful...but then i talk myself out of almost everything because of the negative reviews.  i almost didn't go to a hotel that i ended up absolutely loving because of a negative review.

and there is a little fabric shop here in capitol hill called Stiches.  i am going to check that out, they have classes...none for a dress, but maybe i could do a bag.  and see if they rent a machine! :)